Your new movie Me
También - in a few words, what is it about?
the fewest words, Female Empowerment. In a few more words it’s the story
of two women from very different worlds undergoing the same struggles in
were your sources of inspiration when writing Me
También, and is any of it based on personal experiences?
of my projects are based on personal experiences on some level. But I
tried to shape it into a story that everyone can relate to. Oprah and the #MeToo movement.
what I know, Me También
is your debut as a writer and director - so what prompted you to tell
exactly this story in your first directorial effort?
interesting how the circumstances pushed me to direct the project for the
sake of the story. I’d handed the script to a male director and producer
who wanted to make changes, giving the film a more masculine tone. When I
objected they tried to push me out of my own project. So I decided to do
it myself, and along the way realized that being a writer/director is my
calling. It’s funny: while making a film about female empowerment, I had
men try to take my power away, but in the end, thank God, I gained more
than I ever would have dreamed… feels like a script right?
can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at
things as much as possible is definitely part of the approach, but knowing
and understanding when to improvise and to allow things to change and
evolve in the moment is so key to capturing the magic that happens during
the process of filming. Having the background of being an actress, I
always appreciated having clear direction but also the freedom to make
moments my own, adding or cutting a line and making adjustments about what
feels right for the character, so I definitely try to emphasize that when
I’m directing. Collaboration is so crucial to elevating the story.
If a woman finds herself in a situation like
either of Me También's
two leads, what would your advice be?
be silent, we now, in large part thanks to the #MeToo movement, have a lot
of resources for victims to get help. Various hotlines as well as
increased awareness and attention to such cases via our legal system.
Especially as evidenced by the conviction and sentencing of Mr. Weinstein,
you will be heard so don’t be afraid.
You also play one
of the leads in Me También
- so what can you tell us about your character, what did you draw upon to
bring her to life, and did you write Cristina with yourself in mind from
a female illegal immigrant is a remarkably vulnerable position to be in.
Christina’s life and choices are so shaped and compromised by the
increased risk of speaking out. She may be a nanny, but coming from
poverty in Mexico, she’s thrilled to have the job that she does,
that’s her version of the American dream. Which is why it feels that
What can you tell us about the rest of your
cast, and why exactly these people?
Kathryn Romine, such a precious pearl for this film. I feel so lucky to
have cast her, she is a genuine artist. Regen Wilson, I can’t say
enough, I would love to work with him again in the future. He was prepared
and full of ideas, despite how different that character was to himself as
A few words about
the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
but magical. I love and am grateful for every single person who was on
that set. It will remain one of my best memories.
$64-question of course, where can Me
También be seen?
give it to you for free, lol. The film is currently available on YouTube
in honor of International Women’s Day:
Anything you can tell us about
audience and critical reception of Me
response to the film has been amazing, people have been overwhelmingly
positive about the performances, cinematography and the filmmaking choices
like the silences in certain scenes. We’ve been made an official
selection of more than fifteen film festivals along with winning the Jury
Award at Bentonville.
Based on the experiences gathered
with Me También,
will you ever return to the director's chair? And any future projects
you'd like to share?
I’m planning to direct my first feature screenplay, It was
Written. It’s the journey of a Latin teenager, who escapes his
abusive home life, finding the truth about his past and love along the
way, through his poetry. It’s a very compelling story with twists and
turns and that I anticipate will take your breath away. I’m kind of
obsessed with it, can’t wait to bring it to life. I’m also developing
a pilot for a limited series called Lady J about a woman struggling
with infertility and her dark and unexpected metamorphosis.
What got you into acting to begin
with, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?
naturally an entertainer and the idea of portraying different characters,
personalities was always so effortless for me. Being an actress was a
dream of mine from a very early age in Patagonia, but my formal education
as an actress really only started when I arrived in Los Angeles about six
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Me
done everything from being a featured extra in a Ben Affleck film, to
voiceover work on a film with Will Smith, to a supporting role in Lost
Fare, and a lead part next to great actors like David Arquette in the
upcoming Domino: Battle of the Bones, etc. Every step of the path is an
opportunity to learn, even working as an extra was a real opportunity for
me to observe the filmmaking process up close, which actually helped me
immensely when directing this film, as the director was acting at the same
time. I really found that fascinating.
How would you describe yourself as an
actress, and some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?
versatile, I’ve played a stripper on network television on Seal
a mom in Disney commercials, a prostitute in an indie film, to Cristina a
humble immigrant nanny, to a rebellious Chola in the upcoming comedy
Domino: Battle of the Bones. As far as techniques, I use a combination of
personalization with imagination but generally I’d say, prepare
meticulously and then let it rip when you get to set.
filmmakers, whoever else who inspire you?
Nair for her passion for storytelling and for doing it with such little
support and resources, her wisdom and love for filmmaking really inspires
me. Definitely Ava Duvernay, especially because of how brave and
determined she was to change the trajectory of her career from publicist
to a storyteller with such an original voice. Kathryn Bigelow for sure,
because of the types of complex stories she chooses to tell and her
impeccable taste. And Mr. Tarantino, for so many reasons.
and Louise, Monster’s Ball, Cinema
Paradiso, Amelie, Kill
Bill, Pulp Fiction, and The Professional, among so many others.
... and of course, films you really deplore?
film that uses unnecessary violence or that’s too predictable, turns me
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
do you see yourself in 10 years? I have aspirations for much larger scale
projects that have been brewing for a long time. One specific story is
based on my observations of the everyday lives of women while I was living
in Africa, it’s a bold and high concept tale I hope to be able to share
with the world one day. I also dream of traveling to remote cities and
villages of South America to empower little girls and help them break the
generational chains of poverty, lack of education, and oppression after
having already accomplished more than I expected including a family/team
of humble and talented people around me.
for the interview!